Human Rights Major (2010)
Why Political Science?
My interest in political science was born out of an upbringing that always required me to ask ‘why?’. My parents refused to give me short answers to complicated questions and encouraged me to develop my own perspective of the world. My inquisitive nature with this type of encouragement led me to an academic quest to understand why the world works as it does. My high school ‘American Government’ class introduced me to the study of politics as a way to understand the world, and helped me to realize how our political systems greatly affect the way our society functions. It was through this realization that I developed an interest in political science itself.
What courses did you enjoy?
I liked all of the political science courses I took at Western, but there were two that were particularly helpful to my research questions:
Issues in Political Theory (PLSC 493) - I was asking the question, “can we be intolerant of intolerance?” This course was the perfect introduction to helping me answer that question and helping me to better understand the specific nature of tolerance.
Senior Seminar: Political Theory (PLSC 432) - I had decided that liberal theory was not as capable of navigating difference as I had once thought, and this course gave me a chance to see this difficulty through the study of the supposed division between Islam and ‘the West.’ Specifically, this course helped me see the difficulty of understanding one’s own specific perspective, let alone the perspective of another.
What are you doing now?
I am currently working as a teaching fellow at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh. This university provides a liberal arts education to women from twelve countries across South and Southeast Asia. In the 2013/2014 school year, I will be teaching seminars for the pre-university ‘World History’ course and working as a teaching assistant for the course ‘Comparative Politics of Religion and Secularism.’ I also plan to conduct a research project, in collaboration with my students, about the discussion of Islam and secularism by political actors during the upcoming Bangladeshi election. This position has provided me the opportunity to both develop my skills as an educator and pursue my research interests through relevant courses as I pursue my career goal of becoming a professor.